Saturday, October 31, 2009

Trick or Treat?


This is what the Wicked Witch of the West will be handing out to all the little pretties who come a nockin'. Happy Halloween.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Why Sunblock Is Your Friend

I promised to tell you about the other life I have ruined and must deliver on my promise. It beats the towel story by a mile and went something like this....

Once upon a time (1999 to be exact) I lived in Mexico. I studied at El Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterry (ITESM) in Cuernavaca (1/2 hour south of Mexico City) for two semesters. I loved every minute of it.

Because every minute of it was totally bazaar. When I say bazaar...I mean bazaar! I swear - nothing normal happened during those months but that's what you should expect when you house a bunch of international students in a compound owned by a drug lord. (How quickly I digress. More about my drug runner landlord, the dirty Belgium who lived below me, and the maid who didn't wash the bed sheets but rather shook them out and placed them on the next apartment's bed later....)

Back to my story.

On weekends we would always travel (which is where 1/2 of my bazaar adventures would happen). One weekend we decided to go to Acapulco. I have no idea why...except that it was Acapulco and we decided that it was important for us to go there.

Unfortunately, we went for an extended weekend when the weather was bad. After checking into our hotel we decided to hit the beach, despite the storm, because we had traveled all that way to have some fun.

So the international Gringos hit the beach.

The beach was deserted. When I mean deserted - I mean deserted. Not another soul on the most popular beach in Acapulco, Mexico.


No bother - more uninterrupted fun for us. Or so we thought. Despite the rain and high winds...we decided to hit the big waves and go body surfing.

At one point a big wave hit me and undid the top of my swimming suit. For that, I was glad that the beach was deserted. A little while later as I was standing on the beach, a big wave hit me carrying a cement block which I feared broke my leg.

But did I stop? No.

Not until the point that I actually experienced the afterlife. One minute I was laughing and the next I remember clawing for the ocean surface only to be sucked down again...and again...and again.

I almost drowned.

We later learned that all those signs on the beach (that we didn't bother to read) announced the beach's closure due to the eye of a hurricane which was passing through Acapulco that day.

I almost drowned in a hurricane and I was too stupid to know it.

A few days later the weather improved so we returned to the beach. Since I had the near drowning experience a few days prior I was understandably a little gun shy about the whole affair so I stayed behind to "lay out" while my fellow Gringos enjoyed local cliff jumping. Since I wanted to get a tan....I decided not to use sunscreen.

Again, I'm a Gringo. Not exactly the smartest decision I've ever made.

As I was laying there being approached by all the local women who wanted to braid my hair into cornrows....I decided to take a little nap. Surely they wouldn't bug me for money if I was asleep, which was unfortunately true. When the Gringos returned to my beach spot some 5 hours later....they woke me up, looked at me and told me that I should go indoors for a while as I looked quite red. I obliged because I didn't feel very well.

They however, decided that they wanted to go to dinner and then a local club. I opted out. Too much sun.

So I went to my hotel room and that is where the misery began. Every part of my body that hadn't been covered by my swimming suit was on FIRE. My teeth however were chattering because I was so COLD. (If you need to know symptoms of a severe burn google it. Something about blood being drawn away from the skin to rush to the affected burn areas). So with my teeth chattering I stumbled to the hot shower in search for some type of warmth/relief.

Reminder: I was developing a very bad sunburn. Again, not exactly the smartest decision I've ever made.

Obviously I didn't last long in the shower/bath because it hurt so flippin' bad!

So....I decided to crawl into bed with a hair dryer. It seemed like my only option at the time. I would use the hot air on all the places that my swimming suit covered which was becoming a strange tint of blue.

With blow dryer in hand, I eventually blacked out.

From that point on I only remember praying and my Gringo roommate eventually walking in the door...taking one look at me....and in one fluid movement (total U-turn without stopping) walking right back out the door.

I later woke up in the bathtub freezing as I was surround by ice cubes...completely BUCK NAKED....with a little strange Spanish man looking at me. In broken Spanish he announced that he was the hotel doctor and that I was going to live.

Despite my severe burns and heat stroke.

And I totally ruined his life (not to mention my own) in that moment of glory.

Trust me - I still have the "tan" lines to prove it.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

And So It Goes....

This is what I learned today:

I can go exactly 15 days without picking up my bagpipes and still be able to appear like I practiced. It was "fake it till you make it" like you've never seen before.

Robert de Bruc was none the wiser. He actually congratulated me and told me what a great job I was doing.

I must have caught him on a "good" day.

This is reminiscent of my piano lessons. I only practiced about a 1/2 hour before my recitals/festivals and still managed to come home with "superior" ratings and 1st place trophies.

4-H taught me that if you just smiled at the Judge a little, then it didn't matter that your little lamb was wild as hell.

Just think, if I actually put some effort into it... I could probably be a genius.

Then again, maybe not. I'm not smart enough to try.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Viva la Disneyland!

I'm tired.

Really tired.

I guess it's part of being 35.

Today. I. Feel. Every. Year.

We left Disneyland at 6:00am yesterday morning and by the time we pulled into our driveway at 8:00pm I had to remind myself that it was soooooo worth it.

It was.

We drove non-stop and checked into the hotel before midnight on Thursday...woke up and was at Disneyland by 9am the next morning....played hard all day on my birthday and stayed through the fireworks at 10pm....woke up on Saturday and was at California Adventure by 10am.....rode the California Screamin' roller coaster 7 times (count them 7!).....played hard all day and back to the hotel swimming by 9pm......woke up and was at Disneyland by 9am for the final day of our 3-day Hopper passes...played hard all day but bailed out on the firework crowd and watched them from our hotel balcony until 10pm instead.....woke up at 6am on Monday for lift off back to Utah.

It was a wonderful, fantastic, fabulous whirlwind of a birthday adventure. We made the most of every moment. Matter of fact, we filled up our autograph books.

For that, I am tired.

Really tired.

And totally in love with Mr. Thompson for making me feel every one of my 35 years.

Ain't love grand?

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Mr. Thompson sure did pull the wool over my eyes. In super-duper birthday fashion!

He called me into his office around noon today with the idea that were going to our company's health fair to check out the changes to our benefit plan.

When I opened his office door...lo and behold my two favorite people jumped out at me.

Anna Banana and Lenard are in town!

I couldn't believe my eyes and have to say that it was a huge unsuspecting surprise. After all, I'm the girl who always knows what I'm getting for Christmas because I peek! I had no idea he was bringing my nieces all the way from Idaho to spend my birthday weekend with me. It's one of the most caring things he could do. Yay! Glad I took tomorrow off of work and I'll happily sacrifice the massage I was going to book as a "happy birthday to me" in order to hang out with them.

On my birthday!

So they were going to take me to lunch. We got on the freeway heading to Crown Burger (their choice not mine!).....missed our exit....missed another exit.....missed yet another exit....and that's about when he announced "Operation Disneyland"!

Oh boy was I surprised. Oh boy were they surprised! They thought they were coming down for a birthday weekend at Lagoon. There was a lot of squeels (most especially my own) and we've been on the freeway ever since.

Man, I love my husband! the sneaky little guy has been planning this for months with my brother and sister-in-law. Not to mention the whole office which was in on it. Everyone kept asking what I was going to do tomorrow on my day off. I happily replied "get a massage!".


I'm going to Disneyland.

Where dreams come true.

Just ask Tinkerbell and Julie Andrews who, I guarantee, will make me bawl during the magical firework show. It happens each and every time.

Viva la birthday!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Three Amigos gone and replaced with a very repentant

Check us out and place your bets.

Just for the record, I'd vote for me because I'm going to be The Biggest Loser.

No mas chocolate para mi.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Walk of Rememberance & Hope 2009

Yesterday was one of the best I've had. Amazing actually.

This year's Walk of Remembrance & Hope was hosted by The Christmas Box House and SHARE, non profits which serve those whose lives have been touched by the tragic death of a baby through early pregnancy loss, stillbirth, or in the first few months or moments of life.

That's me.

With Mr. Thompson, Lil' A, and my niece Kereigh in tow...we enjoyed a beautiful afternoon which kicked of with a short memorial, followed by the walk and ultimately a balloon release.

The speaker, Pamela Hansen, shared her inspiring journey of turning personal tragedy into triumph. After losing one of her twins 20 years ago she went on to lose over 100 pounds...10 steps at a time...and ultimately accomplished her goal of running a marathon. She is the author of Finding The Angel Within and is the founder of Running With Angels, an annual 5K race held every spring at Thanksgiving Point. Very inspiring.

Matter of fact, I had a personal breakthrough.

At one point during the memorial I laid my head on Mr. Thompson's shoulder and with tears streaming down my face I felt something that I haven't felt or recognized in what feels like a very long time.

The breeze upon my face.

Sounds cheesy I know, but when was the last time you actually felt the breeze? It was a lovely moment for me when I realized and remembered what I have been missing out on. The beauty of it taught me a few things.

  1. I am not alone. When the balloons floated up it looked like a starry night constellation. As I looked around at who was releasing them I was struck with what I saw. I saw old women....young women...middle aged women....women with grown families....women with small children....women who were all alone....women, like me, with a loving spouse who was holding them up. I am not alone.
  2. This isn't something you just "get over". Pam's loss was over 20 years ago and she still weeps and grieves as hard today as she did then. I took comfort in that. I had started to feel like maybe I'm not normal in my prolonged feelings but if an older woman can still opening grieve about something that happened to her over 20 years ago...and if those elderly women can cry as they release a balloon with their grown adults.....I can certainly shed a few tears over something that happened last year and feel okay about it.

  3. I need to use this experience for good. I find strength in other women and maybe that is why God gave me this experience. Pay it forward. I think I'm going to start volunteering for SHARE. Maybe I'll run a marathon some day too.

  4. I am a mom. It isn't exactly how I envisioned it...but perhaps this was the biggest realization of the day. I am a mom. Let me say that again...I'm a mom. That's enough. Colton's enough. So no more chasing what I don't have. I have something beautiful - not ideal...but beautiful which gives me a reason to live extremely well. I'll celebrate Mother's Day, birthdays and holidays a little differently but I'll still celebrate them. I'll also go on to live a very happy life.

Because the wind on my face was like a kiss that gave me love and happiness.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Day In The Life

I'm at a work conference this week and tonight at dinner I think I laughed for a solid hour with my out-of-state work chums. The laughs just kept coming and coming. Mostly at my expense.

Everyone loved the story about me falling off the treadmill a few weeks ago.

Then there was the time that I got locked out of my house in the towel. Now that's a story worth telling! Here's how it went:

Once upon a time (3 years ago) I lived in in a cheap 500 square foot basement apartment in Sugarhouse. The house was built in 1940. Did I mention that it was a basement?

It was.

Unfortunately, the cheap basement also came with a creepy guy living upstairs. My sister prayed nightly for my safety and I constantly checked the vents for hidden cameras. When I say creepy.... I mean CREEPY! Mr. Thompson could tell you a few stories about this guy (who coincidentally went to vet school with my uncle) that would burn your ears.

But this place was cheap.

As a basement it had little tiny windows that don't meet current fire codes. It also had a very thick front door. A blessing I thought, because of the creep. It also came equipped with a "laundry room" in the basement which was right outside of my front door. The same door that I faithfully locked because I had a creep living upstairs.

One morning I was in a rush because I had to pick up a work associate from the airport. It threw my routine off, especially when I discovered that I forgot to put my underwear in the dryer.

Since I knew that the creep had left for work and I had the house to myself I figured that I could very quickly dart 5 steps outside my front door to transfer my scivies to the dryer.

No problem.

Except I chose to do this wrapped in a towel and my front door swung shut behind me. Did I mention that I always locked my door because of the creep?

I did.

So there I was. Wrapped in a tiny towel (all towels are tiny to a fat girl)....with nothing but wet underwear as an option. No hide-a-key. No cell phone. No window to squeeze through. No front door I could bust down. No nothing!

What, pray tell, do you do in a situation like that?

After a while of trying to use every New York door entry trick I could remember...I realized that I had but one option. I needed to call my landlord. He was the only person who had a spare key. My landlord, by the way, was in construction.

So as I was strategizing about how exactly I was going to find a phone.... I heard the creep's car pull up.

Oh great.

Riddle me this: how exactly do you show up wearing a tiny towel... on the doorstep of a creepy guy whom you refer to as "The Bator"? (yep - you guessed it.)

It wasn't an easy option but it was either him or a neighbor that I hadn't yet had the privilege of meeting. Since a neighbor entailed being visible in a towel from a busy street...

Bator it was.

So with as much dignity as I could muster I had to knock on that upstairs door. Something I still cringe about.

Upon contacting my landlord he promised me that he would send over one of his "guys" with the key. I didn't mention that I was sitting there in a towel. I just hung up as quickly as possible and sequestered myself to the laundry room.

Where I waited for over an hour.

Imagine the surprise of the poor little Spanish guy who showed up to open my door. He stammered "I.....aaaaam.....Jooorrrge..." with a very red face, unlocked the door and then quickly departed. Bet you didn't know that Spanish men can actually turn red, did you?!

Oh great - another Spanish man's life ruined by my nakedness (next embarrassing story will be about heat stroke in Acapulco, Mexico. Something to look forward to I promise).

Needless to say, I didn't make it to the airport.

Top that for embarrassing moments!

Sunday, October 11, 2009


"Love at first sight is easy to understand; it's when two people have been looking at each other for a lifetime that it becomes a miracle." Amy Bloom

I don't know who Amy Bloom is, but I like her.

My parents have been looking at each other for almost 47 years. After eight children, two foster children, 25 grand-children and 116 tomato plants which my dad still insists on planting in the garden each year... they still really like what they see. This is not only a miracle but the biggest blessing of my life. Especially when you consider just how many married people stop looking and give up.

Through my parents I've learned that love is a choice you make moment by moment.

Since I've rededicated myself to living in the moment I've been thinking about the guy I've chosen to look at. The good man I am committed to looking at for a lifetime and beyond.

I love what I see.

Mr. Thompson is easy to love. He's easy to love because every night, rain or shine, he cuddles me close and makes me feel loved. Even after he screws up because of his pride...or I screw up because of my prejudice.

Today at church when a tear slid down my cheek he squeezed me close and kissed my forehead. That is totally what Mr. Darcy would have done in that moment.

Here's a little JaLae nugget: I love Pride & Prejudice. It's my #1 movie and #2 book. I didn't get married for so long not because I didn't have opportunity - but rather because I hadn't found my Mr. Darcy.

Until Mr. Thompson.

With him love is an easy choice to make moment by moment.

Now if he would just buy me that pink scooter...

Friday, October 9, 2009

In The Present

I should be sewing a cute little Halloween costume right now for a one year old. I don't exactly know how to sew....but that's beside the point. In my mind, I should be doing it.

But I'm not.

That is the thought that stopped me in my tracks at work this morning. Out of all the things I have to be worried about and focused on... this shouldn't have been one of them. So I'm a little perplexed about where it came from and why.

But it gave me a really good mental exercise during my treadmill workout tonight.

I don’t like living with “should.” Lots of things "should" of happened, but did not. Living with “should” has kept me stuck. Really-really stuck. And you know what?

I don’t want to be stuck anymore.

I want to be present. I no longer want to live in the past of what happened, as traumatic and life changing as second trimester infant loss was. I no longer want to live in the future searching for what I don't have, as challenging as ongoing infertility is.

I want to be in the present.

Living in the present means that I get to enjoy my favorite time of year - Fall. The tastes, the smells, the changes. It means that I will take long drives with Mr. Thompson again and really see the landscapes around me. It means that I'll wake up with my nose cold and will sprint to the shower to really feel the thrill of warmth. It means that I'll enjoy every last drop of my hot cocoa as I watch the sun rise. It means that I'll drink it in my favorite "feel good" mug. It means that I get to be present for my husband as watches football every day of the week and as he explores his new found love of guns, motorcycles and Winnebagos. It means that I'll be present for my friendships, both old and new, as the people I adore navigate their new paths. It means that when I take my dogs for a walk I'll do it with purpose and joy. It means that I'll give myself a break when I sneak a little chocolate. It means that I will appreciate and recognize my staff for what they did today - not what I expect of them tomorrow. It means that I won't wait until I'm 40 to go skydiving or 60 pounds lighter to go skinny dipping. It means that I'll smile more and be sad less.

Living in the present means that I won't think about the fact that I should be sewing a Halloween costume.

Because I'm not.

Which is okay because today is...what is is.

And it's pretty darn great.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Impatiently Waiting

Someone who I trust and respect (you know who you are) told me yesterday that I need to have more patience and faith about this baby thing.


She's absolutely right. Unfortunately that patience thing is a genetic disorder which I have no control over. Just ask my little sister.

Faith...that's another story. I control that 100% thanks in part to George Micheal (whom I was a HUGE fan of once upon a time. Sad but true.)

I hope that this isn't a situation like my mission. Someone (not the same someone mentioned above) told me that I needed to pray for humility. I got a "Dead Jane" letter later that week and a "thanks but no thanks" letter from BYU Admissions Office the following. (I know - I know. It's my dirty little secret. Blame it on the someone who thankfully dumped me as this was HIS school).

Moral of the story: don't pray about your faults.

God, in His own time, answers those prayers.

(How's that for patience and faith?!)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Only Thing We Have To Fear Is Fear Itself

I broke out in a sweat today on my way to my bagpipe lesson. Seriously. My heart raced, my breath quickened, and moisture gathered on my forehead.

Heavens - I don't even do all of that on the treadmill! (Which may or may not be the reason why I'm not losing any weight, but that is beside the point.)


Because I'm afraid of Robert de Brus (otherwise known as Pipe Major Dennis).

Really afraid.


Because I didn't practice. If you've seen the movie then you know what I'm talking about because Robert de Brus makes a lot of heads roll (if you know what I mean). You can not fool this guy... or his sword... so I don't even know why I thought I could try.

Hence the panic attack for not practicing.

Friday I said..."No big deal - I'll do it tomorrow".

Saturday I said..."No big deal - I'll do it Sunday".

Sunday I said...."No big deal - I'll do it twice as long tomorrow".

Last night I wondered what happened to "tomorrow" and why it never came. "No big deal - I'll wake up at 5:00am and do it then".

5:00am came... and went... while I blissfully slumbered.

"No big deal - I'll do it on my lunch break", I said when I finally woke up at 6:30am.

I don't take lunch breaks and today was not the day to start.

So as I was driving to my lesson "no big deal" suddenly became a very big deal! It was like the death march the whole drive to the Celtic Center.

I was going to my execution.

A decapitation.

And I was scared.

After 5 minutes of sitting in the car trying to do some positive mental imaging and self talk...I finally found the courage to climb out of the car to face the music (literally).

Before I walked through the door I said to myself..."the only thing we have to fear is fear itself!"

Which is true.

If I would have known that Robert de Brus departs tomorrow for the motherland BEFORE my lesson...I could have saved myself a lot of trouble.

He was as happy as a lark and as calm as a pussy cat. (I would be too if I was going to Scotland.)

And so it goes...

Monday, October 5, 2009

To Infertility And Beyond

I'm sitting here staring at a magnet on my fridge which says.....






- Winston Churchill

Clomid. check!
HSG shots. check!
Metformin. check!
Fermara. check!
Fertility Cocktail (Clomid, HSG shots, Metformin and Fermara together). check!
IUI. check! check! check!
IVF. (an expensive) check!
Prayer. check!

So if giving up isn't an option.... what's the alternative?

Oh yeah - take hope, take heart, smile... and start a new cycle tomorrow.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

In The Company Of Angels

So you can't join me for the annual Walk of Remembrance and Hope on October 17th but this is something you CAN do....

Everyone is invited to light a candle on Thursday, October 15th at 7:00pm in all time zones, all across the world.

If everyone lights a candle and keeps it burning for at least an hour...there will be a continuous Wave Of Light all over the world on October 15th, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

My candle burns in memory of my sweet little angel. Who does yours burn for?

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Penny For Your Thoughts

If I was going to write in my journal today, this is what I would write:

Infertility sucks. Infertility sucks. Infertility sucks. Infertility sucks. Infertility sucks. Infertility sucks. Infertility sucks. Infertility sucks. Infertility sucks. Infertility sucks. Infertility sucks. Infertility sucks. Infertility sucks. Infertility sucks. Infertility sucks. Infertility sucks. Infertility sucks. Infertility sucks. Infertility sucks. Infertility sucks. Infertility sucks. Infertility sucks. Infertility sucks. Infertility sucks. Infertility sucks. Infertility sucks. Infertility sucks. Infertility sucks. Infertility sucks. Infertility sucks. Infertility sucks. Infertility sucks. Infertility sucks. Infertility sucks. Infertility sucks. Infertility sucks. Infertility sucks. Infertility sucks. Infertility sucks. Infertility sucks. Infertility sucks. Infertility sucks. Infertility sucks. Infertility sucks. Infertility sucks. Infertility sucks. Infertility sucks. Infertility sucks. Infertility sucks. Infertility sucks. Infertility sucks....

There. I feel better now.